Yesterday, after an extensive search for a new chief executive officer, Chipotle’s Board of Directors announced that Brian Niccol, the former CEO of Yum! Brands’ Taco Bell Division, will take the helm of the Denver-born fast casual chain on March 5.
Niccol is largely credited with successfully turning around Taco Bell when sales and creativity were slumping. This is crucial for Chipotle, which has been faltering in the face of several health scares over recent years.
In December, Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells announced he would step down and aid in helping find a new chief executive officer. Ells will transition to executive chairman when Niccol comes aboard. “Brian is a proven world-class executive, who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business,” Ells said in a statement. “The Board is confident that Brian’s passion and skill set ideally position him to make the bold moves needed to improve operations and take the company to the next level, all while remaining true to our purpose and the values that are essential to our customers.”